Sunday, July 7, 2013

Nooks, Kindles and IPADs......Oh, my.

usbackroads products--Nooks, Kindles and IPAD's.......Oh, my.

Living out on backroads I always had a thing about being connected.  In the early days, that meant shortwave radio's and tuned loop AM antenna's.  Later on in the early 1980's we had a C-Band satellite dish along with our party line phone line.  Even with that party line phone line I showed the neighbors how to kick me off line so I could access CompuServe.  So for me being on backroads meant still being connected.

Today it is much easier to remain connected to the outside world in the middle of somewhere.  Here are the three recent connectivity devices.  The Kindle for reading books.  The mini-Tablet here represented by the Nook.  And, of course, the device you never thought you were going to use until you used it, namely the IPAD.

There are advantages to each.  Lets start with neither fish nor fowl.  Namely, the mini-tablet here represented by the Nook Color.

Alexandra bought this for our first couple of years with the 5th wheel.  So it dowloaded books from libraries, allowed us to listen to Pandora and with the attached CCrane radio transmitter listen to it on the FM band with any FM radio.

It also allowed us to download e-mail and surf the net.  This was handy until the IPAD became widely available.  When Alexandra  bought me the IPAD for a gift, the Nook never got the opportunity to go surfing again.

I still use it for reading books.  The backlight feature makes it very comfortable for reading at night.  So much so that I can read without glasses or contacts.  Very handy for reading just before sleep.  Though it is a blue light which is not conducive to sleep, but there are some apps that will change the color to red so as to not affect your melatonin  production.

Neither fish nor fowl.  I would stay away from purchasing a Nook Color.  It has a proprietary operating system so you get into ALL the issues with APPLE's IPAD without any of the benefits.  I would also pass on the mini-tablet size.  I my opinion, what you need is an e-book reader AND a full-size tablet.  More on this later.

The Kindle was off our list three years ago when we got the Nook Color.  At that time Amazon did NOT allow the Kindle to download library e-books.

There is something magical about being in the middle of somewhere, getting your library card out of the wallet and downloading a e-book that you wanted to read.

You can now do that with the Kindle for most library systems.

I would get a good e-book reader with a backlight for nighttime reading.  The screens also work very well in outdoor light.

That's it.  This is for reading e-books.  Forget about other uses.  For those get a mini-tablet or my personal recommendation for full size tablet.

The IPAD is Steve Job's payback for MicroSoft dominating software publishing for PC's for all those years. Now if you want a app.  It is always available for the IPAD or IPHONE, while you might have to wait for a Android application to be written AFTERWORDS.

If you already have an IPHONE the IPAD is exactly the same in the operating system so you already know how to run it.  I don't recommend reading books on an IPAD.  It is heavy to hold and the retina screen while a joy inside is more difficult to read outside.

So why do you need a Tablet??  Well, in my case it has been my personal briefcase.

I keep all my magazine subscriptions on the IPAD.  They are a joy to read in Portrait mode.  You always have them available.

I like listning to Podcasts on technology, fly fishing, astronomy and other interests that are frankly outside the mainstream media.  The Podcast app downloads them quickly .

I also love radio broadcasts of baseball games.  Now with the MLB At Bat app I can listen to every major league baseball game on a given day.  Almost as good as Armed Forces Radio Service before they shifted to satellite transmission.   They also have a daily game that is broadcast in high definition.

In addition, I have astronomy, birding and other specialized outdoor apps loaded on the IPAD.

Be forewarned, Apple is NOT a usbackroads company.  The IPAD works great with our 100mbps internet service in Wenatchee.  Traveling to California and Arizona where 1mbps service is considered fast makes the IPAD  very difficult to keep current.  In Arizona, an operating system download that took less than a minute in Wenatchee, was FIVE AND A HALF HOURS in Arizona!

My recommendation is a backlit e-book reader that downloads library books.  A full-size ten inch tablet like the IPAD or some other brand.  There are advantages to tablets running other operating system like a SD card slot.

Staying connected now includes an e-book, tablet, smartphone and a notebook personal computer.  Wow, I just wish I had all this stuff available when I was working in the backroads of Idaho and California.


Carol K said...

My husband and I both have Nooks. I have the Color, he has the Tablet. He was able to modify his Nook so that he can use all the Android apps as well as the Nook operating system. I haven't upgraded mine yet. Love the Nook for reading library e-books, but it sounds like they may go out of business soon.

Vladimir Steblina said...

Barnes and Noble came up with a great product in the Nook, but then flat out blew it. It sounds like your husband rooted his tablet. I guess I am not ready to do that to my Nook. It is unfortunate that they are going out of business.

I think we will follow our daughter and get the Kindle e-reader after the Nook dies.

Next posting will probably be on the IPAD. After I post that one I would appreciate your comments on it.

I like the IPAD but I wish I had the Android filing system and the ability to use an SD card.